Q & A with Deborah Gannaway, CFE

Deborah Gannaway of Houston, Texas, loves spending time with her two granddaughters and enjoys running — she’s currently focusing on 5Ks and working out with the Original Navy Seal PT Course in Houston. This past March, however, she set some time aside to accomplish her goal of obtaining the CFE credential after attending the CFE Exam Review Course in Washington, D.C. Deborah says that the knowledge she acquired while studying for her CFE has prepared her to conduct more thorough financial crime investigations.

Coach: When did you receive your CFE credential?

Gannaway: I was certified on April 1, 2016.
Coach: You attended the CFE Exam Review Course in Washington and following the course you sat for the CFE Exam on-site. Please describe your experience of participating in the 4-day course and then sitting for the exam immediately after.

Gannaway:  Although there was a lot of material covered, and at times it seemed a bit overwhelming, the material was well-organized and well-presented. The instructors did an excellent job of preparing us to take the daily exams and calming our nerves.
Coach: What did you like most about the CFE Exam Review Course?

Gannaway: The opportunity to take daily exams for each section, with immediate feedback regarding whether I passed or failed.
Coach: In what ways do you feel that your new CFE credential will benefit you?

Gannaway:  As part of my responsibilities as a Senior Security Specialist with Exelon Corporation (energy provider), I conduct some investigations involving financial crimes. Not only will I be better prepared to conduct the investigations, but executive management will have more confidence in my capabilities because of the CFE credential.
Coach: How did you prepare yourself to sit for the exam on-site? Did you spend any additional time studying after class each day?

Gannaway: In the months prior to this course, I read a large portion of the Fraud Examiners Manual. In addition, during this course, I felt I would be particularly challenged with the Financial Transaction and Fraud Schemes section of the course, so I spent time on Sunday and Monday nights taking the online practice exam.
Coach: Would you recommend this course to your colleagues?

Gannaway: Absolutely, and I actually already have.
Coach: How did you become passionate about fighting fraud?

Gannaway: My Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a major in Accounting served me well during my 20-plus years as an FBI Special Agent, and much of my career was dedicated to investigating a multitude of fraud matters. My detail-oriented personality really loves finding the “smoking gun” in reams of paper or electronic financial records.
Coach: Now that we know what you do professionally, what do you like to do for fun and what do you find enjoyable about it?

Gannaway:  I love anything that physically challenges me. In the past, I have been involved in long-distance running, triathlons, and long-distance cycling. Currently, I primarily focus on 5Ks, and I work out almost daily with the Original Navy Seal PT Course in Houston,Texas.  I also love spending time with my two granddaughters, Madison – Age 10, and Parker – Age 5.
Coach: Do you have any study tips or suggestions for aspiring CFEs?  

Gannaway: For anyone who has a reasonable background in fraud investigations, I strongly recommend the CFE Exam Review Course with daily exams along with studying the Prep Course. I believe that is all that most would need to successfully become a CFE.